Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

FA Cup Preview: Derby County vs Manchester United

Derby County vs Manchester United |FA Cup|Pride Park Stadium

For a side that have won the second most amount of FA Cups, Manchester United have failed to impress in the competition in recent years, having gone all the way just once in the past 14 years.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be keen to make the FA Cup the first trophy he lifts as United manager come May, and the next stop on the road to Wembley is Derby, as United’s all-time leading goal scorer, and former captain, Wayne Rooney welcomes his old side to Pride Park.

How do Manchester United look?

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Other than Marcus Rashford, United don’t appear to have any long-term absentees within their ranks. Paul Pogba is back training with physiotherapists, and is expected to training again with the first team within the next week or so, making him a potential contender to play against Tottenham on 15th March.

During his press conference, Solskjaer did allude to a couple of players who he expects to play no part in the tie against Derby County.

When asked about Daniel James, who missed The Reds’ 1-1 draw with Everton at the weekend, the Norwegian said “He’ll probably miss out on this one as well”.

Alongside that, the boss added that “Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] might be struggling. He’s got a test today, but he struggled in our last game against Everton with his back, so he might be out.”

Other than the players mentioned by Solskjaer, United appear to have a wide choice of players to pick from for Thursday’s match. Anthony Martial returned to the starting 11 against The Toffies, following his absence against Club Brugge and looked like any knock he may have had was shaken off and recovered from.

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Following David De Gea’s catastrophic error against Everton, Solskjaer was asked whether he would be given the number one spot against Derby or whether Sergio Romero would come in, as he has many times in cup competitions in recent years.

He replied, saying “Sergio has done well in the games he has played, definitely, but I have no qualms about playing David in every game, to be fair, because what he’s done and his performances, they’ve been great.”

Opposition: Derby County

When this Derby County side faces Manchester United, there is one man that will be talked about.

Wayne Rooney.

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A legend at The Theatre of Dreams, Rooney played 559 games for United, netting 253 goals, making him The Reds’ all-time top goal scorer. Rooney won five Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, four League Cups, one FA Cup, one UEFA Europa League, one FIFA Club World Cup and five Community Shields. He won everything he could have done with United and is bound to receive a good reception from the away end come 7:45 PM on Thursday.

Derby enter the game having won just one of their last five fixtures, and find themselves 13th in the second tier of English football, eight points off the play-off spots.

In terms of injuries, The Rams have been rather unfortunate this year, with a number of long-term absentees being ruled out for the majority of the season. Ex Tottenham and Hull midfielder Tom Huddlestone has been injured for a long spell, and won’t feature. Duane Holmes, Krystian Bielik and Ikechi Anya are also all very unlikely to feature due to injury.

Key Stats

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United have impressed in the FA Cup against sides from lower divisions.

They have won 45 out of their last 46 FA Cup ties when facing opposition from lower divisions. The only occasion that they have lost in this time was against Leeds in 2010, where Jermaine Beckford scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory for The Peacocks.

The last time the two sides faced, Derby (then managed by Frank Lampard) knocked United out of the League Cup on penalties, following a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

Prediction:

Derby County 1-2 Manchester United. A brace from Mason Greenwood for United, and Wayne Rooney to score for Derby.

Match Preview Writer

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